It is with great trepidation that I open this bottle of Belle Royal Sour Cherry Wild Ale. Opening a bottle of Driftwood used to be a feeling of great excitement; now that has been replaced by apprehension. You may have noticed that there was no review of the Singularity 2013 this year. Others couldn't care less what I think. This is the third sour by Driftwood. The Bird of Prey was a glorious thing. The Mad Bruin was also a solid performer but paled in comparison.
Belle Royal 2013 (Sour) = 7/10
Sitting in French and Appalachian oak does funny things to a beer. It gives the nose a funky, muddled cherry aroma. The sip is mild at first with the predictable tart cherries, wool blanket and oak tastes. What is lacking is the sweet vinaigrette. Perhaps all I want is for every sour beer to taste like Rodenbach or Monk's Cafe. Then the lemon and pineapple acidity wash over the tongue with a slight numbing sensation. It feels like my tongue is being digested by fresh pineapple enzymes. The ending is very dry, refreshingly tannic with a slight fruity rawness. If someone gave me this drink blindfolded I would have guessed it was a sangria with too much pineapple juice and oaked chardonnay.
Upon reading my above review, it sounds so horribly pompous and biased. Buy this beer, you will enjoy it. It is mildly sour, tart, fruity and very refreshing. I has hoping to relieve my first sour beer experience. Your first bottle of Rodenbach Grand Cru will forever be the unobtainable benchmark. Mestreechs Aajt is a second best.
Alcohol Content +1 8%
Appearance +1 (great art as always with good description of flavour)